HAMILTON, Ontario, Canada - Goalkeeper Brian Phipps made 18 saves, including a key stop in the closing seconds of regulation, as the Ohio Machine held off a late rally by the Hamilton Nationals to earn a 13-12 Major League Lacrosse victory at Ron Joyce Stadium on Friday evening.
Led by Phipps, the Machine snapped a five-game losing streak en route to their second win of the season. Meanwhile, the Nationals lost for the fourth straight game.
After midfielder Matt Messina gave Ohio a 1-0 lead just 58 seconds into the first quarter, the Nationals scored back-to-back goals from midfielder David Earl and Joe Resetarits to take a 2-1 advantage with 7:21 remaining in the opening stanza.
But, the Machine answered by scoring three straight goals to claim a 4-2 edge with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.
After midfielder Cody Jamieson tied the game at 4-4 by scoring a pair of goals to open the second quarter, the Machine countered by putting together a four-point run, including a two-point marker from defenseman Kyle Hartzell, for an 8-4 advantage with 7:37 remaining.
However, the Nationals scored three consecutive goals, including a pair of markers from midfielder Stephen Keogh, to close within 8-7 with 57 seconds left in the first half.
The teams traded goals in the final 49 seconds of the first half, giving Ohio a 9-8 advantage at the intermission.
A pair of goals by Garrett Billings to open the third quarter gave Hamilton a 10-9 lead before midfielder Eric O'Brien tied the game at 10-10 with an unassisted marker. But, attackman Kevin Crowley answered with 5:17 left in the third period to regain the Nationals' one-point cushion.
Trailing by 11-10, the Machine scored three straight goals over a seven-minute span to take a 13-11 lead with 10:04 left in regulation. But, Billings narrowed the margin to 13-12 by scoring his third goal of the game with an unassisted marker past Phipps.
The Nationals had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but a low shot by midfielder Joe Walters was stopped by Phipps as the Machine preserved the victory.
While Phipps led the Machine to the victory en route to earning Bud Light MLL Player of the Game honors, three different players scored two goals for Ohio.
The Nationals had four different players score two goals with an assist while midfielder Matt Dolente won 19 of 27 face-offs with seven ground balls.
The Machine and the Nationals will meet again on Saturday night at Selby Stadium.